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|Articles - October 2012|
|Monday, September 24, 2012|
BY JON BELL
The highest hurdle facing Portland minimalist running shoe company SKORA since it officially brought its first two models to market in February hasn’t been convincing runners of the potential of the new shoes. Instead, it’s been one of simple recognition among retailers in a field dominated by big guns like Vibram FiveFingers and the Nike Free Run.
“The biggest challenge is being recognized by the running specialty market as an option,” says company founder David Sypniewski, who first saw the light with barefoot-style running after an injury about a decade ago. “It’s been finding retailers that are progressive enough to truly carry specialty products.”
The longer — and possibly slower — inroad into the $500 million minimalist-shoe market has simply been to get people to try out a pair of SKORAs, either the BASE, which retails for $110, or the FORM, which uses Pittards leather from England and goes for $185. By late August, SKORAs were available in about 35 specialty running shops across the country and distributed in seven countries, with more outlets coming onboard every week.
“When a runner or a retailer puts them on, they see these are something truly different,” says Sypniewski, 34, who comes from a sales and marketing background.
The other course for Sypniewski, who funded the startup with savings and credit cards until an investor pitched in $900,000 in 2011, is money. He hopes to raise an additional $3 million in the next two years, a decent chunk of which he is optimistic will be confirmed by the end of this year.
SKORA, which employs four people and has six sales reps across the country, will invest future funding widely in marketing and advertising — from magazine ads to event appearances — and retail support. R&D will figure prominently as well, as the company already has two new models ready for 2013 and a trail shoe on the drawing board.
Combined, those efforts, along with a newly launched brand-ambassador program that will support up-and-coming amateur athletes, have Sypniewski fired up about the future.
“We’re still small and scrappy,” Sypniewski says. “It’s early, but it’s exciting.”
Thursday, April 10, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
SEMpdx hosted a workshop this week for entrepreneurs, website developers and others interested in search engine optimization (SEO). Here are a few tips and tricks aimed at bumping up your search engine rankings.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
BY MARK BLAINE | OB BLOGGER
The publisher of the Emerald Media Group moves on, leaving a cutting edge media group that depends on business acumen for its survival.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
Les Schwab has put a premium on customer service since 1952, when legendary namesake Les Schwab founded the company with one store in Prineville. (Schwab died in 2007.) But if the corporate principles remain essentially the same, the world around this iconic Oregon business has changed dramatically.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Our 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JAKE THOMAS
An ancient institution moves slowly into the digital age.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER
Oregon is home not only to many fine writers but also several accomplished small publishers.
Friday, February 28, 2014
The 21st annual 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon list was announced Thursday night at an awards dinner at the Oregon Convention Center.
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